Look, I don’t want to do a lot of crying today. There have been at least 366 days of crying (I kind of lost it there the day before he died,) and I’d like to think I’m totally cried out.
Of course such a thing is, apparently, impossible.
I have no idea how I will spend today. Thus far I’ve just been willing myself through it. Feeling kind of spent, and as it’s only 8:45 that doesn’t bode well now, does it?
I’ve been working on this poem for most of the last year. It’s about this nice moment I had with Dad the day before he died, which happened in the wee hours of the morning, so this was the last day I got to be with him.
If you’ve ever been in a room with someone who is dying, you’ll remember what that ambiance is like. It’s heavy and stuffy, dark, hot, and sad, even if it’s a beautiful day outside. The air is all prickly, energy from The Others who are gathering in anticipation. You may talk only of the past, thoughts of the future are inappropriate here.
It’s not a place one can stay in very long. We were kind of taking turns being with Dad, then going out for a breather when you were on the verge of losing it.
I was alone with Dad. He said he was tired, so I helped him over to the bed. By this time the stocky, lumberjack-like build of his had pretty much withered away. His arms, that had always been so strong, hairy, bear-like, reminded me of a newborn bird’s wings- frail and thin, only a shadow of what they should be.
Anyway, I laid down beside him and we had a nice cuddle. I started to cry in spite of myself, and he wiped my tears away. He’s the one who is dying, but here I am being comforted by him, just like I was a five-year-old who had fallen off her bike again.
So, dammit, I’m crying now in spite of what I said earlier. I’ll leave you with the poem and then try to find some other way to get through today because writing is just making me feel worse. This is still a work in process, mind you, so don’t tear it apart.
We have come full circle, you and I
The hands that held me, strong and sure
The day that I was born
Seem now frail as a hatchling’s wings
I see you to the threshold
Through which peace and rest abound
A lingering, tender moment
Till we meet in That Garden again